Colonial Conquest (PC) Review

By Chris Leebody 24.08.2015

Review for Colonial Conquest on PC

Colonial Conquest comes from developer Argonauts Interactive, who used Kickstarter to fund a new 2015 homage and tribute to the 1985 title of the same name. When thinking of strategy and detailed representations of world maps on PC, what tends to come to the fore are titles such as Hearts of Iron and Victoria. However, the aforementioned don't exactly lend themselves to a 'pick-up-and-play' style of gaming, nor are they all that welcoming for any newcomers with only a passing interest in the genre. Colonial Conquest seems to bridge a decent gap in that niche - a much more simplistic and forgiving entry that lends more to the classic board game Risk, rather than a mammoth grand strategy title. The question is if simplicity can hold the interest in a crowded market of seasoned strategy game veterans.

To start with, what may please some and irritate others is that the main basis of Colonial Conquest lies simply as the name would suggest: in conquering the most land and taking over control of the 130 regions that make up the planet. Each region grants a certain amount of 'Victory Points,' which represent the goal: to secure more than the other opponent nations. That is fundamentally all there is to it.

Screenshot for Colonial Conquest on PC

As stated, this linearity may be a blessing to players who don't have time to engage with a whole stack of facts and economic figures that a title such as Hearts of Iron presents. However, on the flip side, it does give a rather monotonous tone to proceedings after a while. The most dangerous result of this is that Colonial Conquest does tend to become simply an exercise in mouse clicking to move armies and sweep all before aside. Especially since most of the regions to conquer are nameless 'minor' factions that don't have any sort of personality whatsoever beyond some tinkering to stats, which impact when a battle takes place on them.

The nations that are elaborated on are the six main playable factions, and include Great Britain, United States of America, France, Germany, Japan and Russia. Again, though, beyond an informative blurb at the beginning of a game depending on which faction is chosen, detailing some historical points, each faction does have the tendency to feel similar to one another, except for map placement.

Screenshot for Colonial Conquest on PC

Having said all that, there are some things thrown in to give a touch of variety to proceedings. Factions do have slightly different budgets and troop recruitment costs do vary, so, for example, the United States can recruit more units for less than Great Britain; however, Great Britain's infantry will have slightly better bonuses. It is important to mention, as well, that infantry and naval ships are the only two units recruit-able, and this again goes back to the simplicity point. As long as the faction has money, just move the slider across to recruit those men. Additionally, the game is laid out in four seasons, and it is only during spring in which troops can be recruited and spying or other action operations can take place.

Another aspect that helps to hold a bit more interest is the financial support option that can be used to give funds to one of the minor regions in order to encourage them to recruit units and prove a very tough test against the AI when they try to conquer that region. This is actually a rather interesting mechanic and does help create some cool strategic decisions and situations. Additionally, the opposite can be used and money can be paid to a minor region to subvert troops and make it easier to conquer.

Screenshot for Colonial Conquest on PC

When a region is ready to be conquered, first, troops need to be moved into a region, and then one turn later the battle begins. It is really just a case of watching a small animation illustrating the victor of the battle, which, in the vast majority of cases, is simply the higher number of units triumphing. That said, the AI of major nations is very aggressive, and attacking one of them usually results in a fierce backlash. This tends to increase the interest when starting to get embroiled in some proper wars in which full use of the strategic elements, such as the spying mechanic, come to the fore when best planning the next move.

There are also three different scenarios to contend with; one in which nations follow their 1880 layout, including colonial territories; another that has the 1914 layout; and a blank canvas in which nations are laid out only in their home territories, and, therefore, the whole map is largely free to conquer. These are neat distractions to play with, but ones that ultimately only mainly affect the placement of factions and their starting democracy status with each other.

Screenshot for Colonial Conquest on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Colonial Conquest is a fair attempt at making an approachable strategy game. It does tend to play mostly like a game of fast paced Risk, which, for certain types of people, will be a very fun experience indeed. What cannot be disputed is that it is possible to play very quick rounds, and this makes it an ideal title for when friends get round and are looking for some strategy action that does not require a dedication of many hours from some other titles. With that kind of mind-set, and especially the very reasonable price, it ticks all the boxes. However, the overriding impression is just one of too much simplicity, from diplomacy to the battle system, as well as the economy. It is no surprise a portable tablet version of the title is being considered, as it feels like a natural fit for those platforms, especially with the neat and tidy user interface. On PC, though, it lacks a compelling reason to keep playing beyond a few hours, especially as a single-player experience.

Developer

Argonauts Interactive

Publisher

Plug In Digital

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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